“Never doubt that a small group can change the world.’ Margaret Mead
If you have had a conversation with anyone from the Leadership Buffalo (LB) staff or some of the more recent alumni, you have probably heard “Making Buffalo Better’. But what does that mean?
Well before we tell you that, let’s get back to its roots.
“When I took the job as Executive Director at Leadership Buffalo, people not familiar with LB were confused; asking are you going to teach leadership? At first, I tried to explain and I would see people glaze over. So I just said ‘we Make Buffalo Better and the conversation just sailed along from there,’ CEO, Althea Luehrsen tells how the tagline came to be.
Over the last four years, the tagline has gone from something simple to an integral part of the Leadership Buffalo brand.
The word choice ‘better’ was strategic as it implies Buffalo is good, it is great, but…it can be so much more. LB thrives on boosting Buffalo and showing the incredible resurgence of our great city. LB also focuses on the critical issues in order to develop action plans to move these issues toward solutions…also known as making it better.
So how is Leadership Buffalo remaining true to its tagline? Simply, through three related areas.
As mentioned before, LB immerses their members into the community teaching them about all things good, bad, and ugly and how to make it better. Themed day sessions provide an in-depth view of Buffalo by sharing hands-on experiences and networking with other leaders in the area. At the end of each program year, members take all the information they learned and develop actions plan to execute either individually or as a group.
“I’m making Buffalo better by being all in. Between helping others find jobs to stay here, recruiting friends to move here and engaging in all things “New Buffalo”, its doing whatever you can to tell the story and act upon it,’ Charlie Riley (LB ’09). Riley sits on LB’s marketing committee and is an active class chair. He mentions there are so many positive organizations helping to move the needle and getting involved is his contribution to help make Buffalo better.
Civic Engagement and Service:
While “eye-opening experiences’ are great, we want people to DO something rather than just talk about it.
Our class projects have proven successful as it not only keeps the classes together, but it moves our community in a better direction.
The 2013 class has adopted PS 74 Hamlin Park and works with the Food Bank of WNY to raise money for those students and the BackPack Program.
The 2014 class supports Matt Urban Hope Center through fundraisers, events, donation drives, etc.
Our Youth Leadership program tasks the students with creating a community service project in a small group with their peers.
Even our retired graduates are involved in making a difference. Lita Rodriguez (LB ’99) said her current job is volunteering her talents wherever she can.
Collaborations and Connections:
LB is all about the people. Without the people, who is going to make Buffalo better? Leadership Buffalo has created numerous strategic partnerships and relationships with many organizations including 43North, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives, Canisius College Center for Professional Development, UB’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Daemen College Executive Leadership and Change Program, Empire State College Business Program, Leadership Cattaraugus, Leadership Genesee, Leadership Rochester, Leadership Niagara and National Association of Women Business Owners, not to mention all the LB dedicated sponsors.
Leadership Buffalo strives to be a catalyst for change and with your help we can all make a significant difference and continue making Buffalo better.